Poetry and propositions

An excerpt from This Waking Life – Eamonn Healy speaking about telescopic evolution and the future of humanity.

A ‘Santhe’ of propositions in response to the clip


The digital whiteboard threw up some complex and interesting propositions but also quite brilliantly exposed the messiness of humans (or maybe artists) and our propensity to react and respond to stimuli in a variety of both predictable and unpredictable ways. There is an element here also of how each of us values, digests and either holds onto or divulges knowledge, about confidence in ideas or unsure thoughts that remain unsaid in such a knowledgeable group, there are those who made huge diagrams and others who maybe posted a small number of notes and some who abstained from the task completely. 

In the context of what Healy was saying this feels important. If neo humans represents a kind of levelling out of intelligence and opportunity to collaborate with machines then in order for that to happen there needs to be equality of access to, confidence in, and experience of tech and education.  But if we’re all subject to the same data/experience/education and evolve from that then how will we progress as individuals? Will our flaws be ironed out? What mistakes will we be making? Will this evolution be the same on all continents? What control will be gained and what control relinquished? Who will shout the loudest and who will remain unheard?


Working in groups of three today. We each brought 3 pieces of poetry of around 5 lines written by a poet who represented our ‘home ground’.

I chose three poems by the Indian/Welsh poet Tishani Doshi who I am also related to by marriage. A number of her poems are about people that I care very deeply for and so in the context of home ground I wanted to work with excerpts from her poems that are familiar and brilliant.

Found Poem

One night a year,

In the Bahamas,

The selemicereus cactus flowers


Into bloom

Conduct their entire sex lives

And vanish by morning

Fisher Price Men (excerpt)

Today my sister’s boy from America

Brings the village alive again

Leading the men to camper vans

And dusty deckchairs

Giving them names 

Like Harvey and Stan  

Girls are coming out of the woods (excerpt)

Girls are coming out of the woods,

wrapped in cloaks and hoods,

carrying iron bars and candles

and a multitude of scars, collected

on acres of premature grass and city

buses, in temples and bars. 

Working with Bhargav and Dibyendu we started by entering different combinations of our three poems and entering different premises into the GPT3 programme. The results were staggering and the process so completely mesmerizing and awesome that honestly I could have made more and more! 

We are working well as a team to create a new artwork and I have suggested that we each read The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster which was written in 1909 and outlines a world where the machine has taken over every function of human life. Our proposition is not 100% formed today but we are all three of us interested in the notion of how each generation has a view of what the future might hold including hopes, imaginings and anxieties. 

ML Poems

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